23rd July

One seabird shock had seemed like quite enough for this month (...even for this year) but to have a second when a Great Shearwater afforded what might prove to be once in a lifetime views for land-based watchers when it lingered for several hours close inshore off the Bill during the afternoon was fortunate indeed. The sea was otherwise relatively quiet, with 30 Manx Shearwaters, 22 Common Scoter, 4 Yellow-legged Gulls, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Arctic Skuas and a Puffin through or lingering off the Bill. In quieter conditions interest picked up on the land, with a small arrival at the Bill that included a light passage of hirundines, 4 each of Sedge Warbler and Willow Warbler, and singles of Whimbrel, Yellow Wagtail and Grey Wagtail at the Bill; in contrast, Ferrybridge was uneventful, with nothing much more than 5 Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper.

Moth-wise, there was a small increase in common immigrants, including 44 Diamond-back Moth, 11 Silver Y, 7 Dark Sword Grass and 6 each of Rusty-dot Pearl and 4 Rush Veneer at the Obs, but quality by way of infrequent strays was limited to a lone Orange Pine Twist Lozotaeniodes formosanus at Weston.

Being resolutely land-based seawatchers this was really not how we were expecting to see a Great Shearwater - particularly at the Bill (...although it maybe should be remembered that the island's first Great Shearwater - on 21st June 1963 - was apparently seen in identical circumstances) © Martin Cade: